Month 28: Travel Summary and Statistics


Beach in Yelapa
Gorgeous Yelapa

This month was all about settling down and working hard with a few days of extreme stress and joyful celebrations thrown in for good measure. 

The month began fairly stress-free as I helped to release just-hatched sea turtles into the ocean at sunset. It was an incredible experience, and this was my favourite turtle. It was confused and disorientated and kept wandering off in the wrong direction. I named it Lauren.

Releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean
Releasing baby sea turtles into the ocean

We got to experience Day of the Dead, and got involved by taking a trip to the local cemetery. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the festival, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be a time for celebration, and a time to honour lost loved ones. We drank beer, ate gelato and watched local bands perform in the main plaza.

I was having a fantastic time in Sayulita, so much so that Dave and I were having serious conversations about extending our stay for another month or two.

The cemetery in Sayulita
The cemetery in Sayulita

Just as everything was going perfectly, disaster struck.

If you’ve read my previous monthly summaries, you’ll probably know that I make all of my income online, mostly through freelance writing and editing. You’ll probably be able to figure out then, that if my laptop were to break then this would, well, affect me quite a bit. So, of course, my laptop broke — just as my bank balance was starting to recover from my time in the US.

Trying to get my laptop replaced from a small town of just a few thousand people was a horrifically stressful experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I wrote about it in great detail on Too Many Adapters if you’re interested in hearing my tale of woe.

After a week filled with more tears than I’m willing to admit to, I needed a break to recover. Fortunately, the delivery of my shiny new laptop coincided with my two year anniversary with Dave.

It seems like such a long time ago that I posted my monthly summary from my fourth month of travel, hinting vaguely at the sudden interruption in my solo travel plans:

I soon sped up to Chiang Mai where I could maybe possibly be staying for quite a while.

Am I being deliberately vague? Probably. 

Life is definitely interesting right now.

And now we’ve been together for two years.

Dave and I closed our laptops, packed a bag full of clothes and books and set off for Yelapa.

Yelapa main town
The main “town” in Yelapa

Yelapa is a tiny fishing village south of Puerto Vallarta, and is only accessible by boat. There wasn’t electricity until 10 years ago, and an widespread Internet connection only arrived in 2010. There aren’t any cars in the village, with locals and visitors opting to get around on horseback or by foot. After all, it’s not like anything is far away.

Yelapa was incredible, but it was also very expensive. I shouldn’t have been surprised, knowing that supplies have to be delivered by boat, but we ended up paying US prices for much of our time there. Accommodation options and food didn’t offer particularly great value for money.

We stayed at the peaceful Yelapa Oasis ($90 a night) in an open-air casita, where bullfrogs and iguanas roamed both the gardens and our bedroom. Being open-air, the front of our casita had no wall, or even a door, which took a little getting used to. I soon grew to love it, as we went to sleep with the sounds of crickets and woke up to the crowing of roosters.

Bullfrog in Yelapa
The enormous bullfrog that had me refusing to come inside

Getting away from our electronic devices, of which we have far too many, was wonderful. I felt like I was taking my first true vacation in years, with nothing to do but relax in a hammock, read a book and sunbathe on the beach.

Yelapa sunset
A golden sunset over the river, as seen from my hammock

We hiked to a nearby waterfall…

Yelapa waterfall
One of Yelapa’s waterfalls, this one only a 10 minute walk from the centre of town

I was particularly excited about having to wade across a river to get from our casita to the beach every morning!

Yelapa river
Dave wanders across the river on our way back from the beach

We even got to fit in a little beach time too.

Beach in Yelapa
The main beach in Yelapa

And now, we now find ourselves back in Sayulita, where we have less than a month remaining!

 

Onto the statistics for the month! 

Where I've been, november 2013

Countries visited: 1

Mexico

Cities visited: 3

San PanchoSayulita, Yelapa

Distance travelled: 202 km

Photos taken: 219

Money spent: 

Accommodation: $333

Food: $476.23

New laptop: $2450.72

Total amount spent: $3259.95

 

The next month:

Travel Plans, November 2013

I would imagine that the next month will be spent in much the same way as the previous two — good food, good company, writing, sunbathing and watching as many beach sunsets as I can.

On the 16th, we’ll be leaving Sayulita and heading east and inland, to the gorgeous city of Guanajuato. I’m surprised at how much I’m looking forward to getting back on the road, and I can’t wait to explore a new part of Mexico.

 

Looking to follow along with my travels through my monthly summaries? You can read the previous month’s summary here, the next month’s summary here, or head on over to the monthly summary page to read from the very beginning!

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20 Comments

  1. Jason from Travel on Inspiration
    November 21, 2013
    Reply

    Yelapa looks like an incredible place to relax and get away from it all, especially after that laptop breakdown.

    • Lauren
      November 21, 2013
      Reply

      It was pretty great! If it hadn’t been so pricey I would have extended my stay by a few more nights :-)

  2. Monica
    November 21, 2013
    Reply

    Wow, sounds like a great month! And congrats on the 2 years with Dave. Two years travelling with anyone is tough so you’ve definitely got a good one ;)

    I’m always amazed by how little you spend each month too!

    • Lauren
      November 21, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Monica! I’ve always been surprised at how well we travel together, given that we both started out as solo travelers and went from that to moving in together and spending 24 hours a day in each other’s company! It took a bit of getting used to but it works well now :-)

  3. jennifer
    November 21, 2013
    Reply

    Happy anniversary to you and Dave! I must also say that when clicking on your four month statistics, I got really excited to be greeted with a picture of Hong Kong as this is my new destination obsession. I actually just picked up my Lonely Planet Hong Kong from my library on Tuesday!

    • Lauren
      November 21, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Jennifer! :-). Hong Kong is fabulous, you’ll love it!

  4. Hogga
    November 21, 2013
    Reply

    aw that baby sea turtle is so cute!

    • Lauren
      November 21, 2013
      Reply

      They were so adorable! I was nervous picking them up in case I squashed one.

      • Helga
        December 15, 2013
        Reply

        hmm, were u allowed to pick up the baby turtles? Cause, usually u arent allowed to do so, because it can confuse the turtles to where they are suppose to go and so forth. I know in some of the islands along the Great Barrier Reef in Aussie, u are allowed to watch and follow them, but not pick them up or carry them under any circumstance.

        • Lauren
          December 15, 2013
          Reply

          Yes, it’s part of a conservation project here in Sayulita, where they collect the turtles every night as they hatch so that they aren’t killed or eaten (by dogs or birds) on their way to the ocean.

          We had to all wash our hands properly with water, sanitiser and sand and carefully lift them out of a bucket and then place them facing towards the sea, around 20 metres from it. We then formed a line either side to make sure they all got to the ocean :-).

          They’re very specific about washing your hands, and at the end of the day, I’m going to take their advice because they’re the experts.

  5. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown
    November 21, 2013
    Reply

    Bleh…electronics can be such a pain sometimes!! Bummer that you had to replace it. But at least you know you should be good for a while!

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013
      Reply

      Yep, fingers crossed! I’ll be taking better care of this one, that’s for sure! :-)

  6. Caro
    November 22, 2013
    Reply

    Argh, I feel your pain about the computer! My Macbook died while we were living in Khao Sok and were specifically there to film and deliver a short doc feature. No Apple store in the jungle that’s for sure! Odd how attached we get to these shiny machines eh? Glad to be reading your tales, as always!

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Caro! And sorry to hear about your Macbook stress. It can be so frustrating to try and get them repaired in a country without Apple Stores — especially when you can’t be without one for too long.

  7. Ashley
    November 22, 2013
    Reply

    I love reading your updates! Thank you for having a blog.

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

    • Lauren
      November 24, 2013
      Reply

      Awww, thank you so much, Ashley! :-)

  8. TammyOnTheMove
    November 29, 2013
    Reply

    Happy anniversary! Oh and turtle Lauren looks so adorable. What a cutie!

    • Lauren
      December 3, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Tammy! I’m a huge fan of sea turtles now :-)

  9. Natasha Amanda
    December 3, 2013
    Reply

    Sounds like an amazing month. I am very jealous of your amazing travels. :)

    • Lauren
      December 10, 2013
      Reply

      It was pretty great :-)

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